Knitting

Lace Vest

I’ve been wanting to make this vest since I first saw it in the Early Fall 2015 Vogue Knitting. I finally got my chance this spring, and I’m delighted with the finished result. I do plan to wear it as a vest and not a pullover (it easily could be worn as a sleeveless pullover) as age is betraying me and my pale arms are not shown to their best advantage in anything sleeveless.

Pink Lace Vest 2It’s Pattern #18, Vine Lace Shell, and it was a fairly easy pattern to work up, with some nice detail at the ribbing. There’s a rolled edge there made with a reverse stockinette, and even though the pattern didn’t call for it, I added that edge to the sleeves. Debating now whether it was worth it, but I don’t plan to change anything.

The pattern instructions have you working the ribbing at the neck and the sleeves back-and-forth rather than in the round, but I chose to do it in the round, which meant I needed to alter the instructions for the rolled edge. It was easy enough, and if you choose to do the same thing, you’d knit one round, purl two rounds, then knit another two rounds. You’re starting on Row Two of the Rolled Edge pattern this way, as the first knit row would be the stitches you pick up around the edge.

Rather than have three reverse stockinette stitches on each side of the front and back — which makes for challenging finishing — I chose to add two stitches to each piece, one stitch on each side, and work it this way: K2, P2, then on to the 4th stitch of the pattern, ending P2, K2 (instead of P3 on each side). Of course I worked the wrong side P2, K2 and K2, P2 on the edges, in that order. That makes seaming a lot smoother!

Pink Lace VestI also made the body about an inch longer than the pattern calls for, and the pattern is fairly long to start with, but I thought the longer piece would be more in keeping with current styles. It’s also a little more flattering on me.

I made it with Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK in color 674, Shell Pink. I think I have enough pink in my wardrobe for awhile!! This yarn was wonderful to work with and I think worked well with this pattern.

It’s a very stretchy piece, and looks way too skinny when you first finish it. However, it pulls out quite a bit, so trust the finished sizes given. Just be sure to do a swatch!!

 

Knitting

New Grey Throw

My new grey curtains required a little more grey in the rest of the living room to balance the color, so I used one of my own knitting designs for this new throw. Combine that change with some art and throw pillow rearrangements, and I believe it did the job for which it was created!!

New Grey ThrowThe pattern is Rolling Waves Throw, which is available as a free download here or on Ravelry. For this throw, I changed the needle size to 7mm and used two strands held together of Plymouth Yarn DK Merino Superwash in Light Grey. The yarn is a dream to work with, and the final product looks good, too.

It took 14 skeins, or 1,820 yards of the yarn. The gauge was four stitches and five rows to the inch, and I cast on 125 stitches. I completed five pattern repeats. The finished throw is 34″ by 40″, which may seem rather small, but is a great size for curling up under on a cold day. It’s also about the right size for someone in a wheelchair.

This pattern knits up quickly and is fairly easy to memorize, although it’s also easy to make a mistake by switching the yarn-overs and decreases, so you may want to keep the pattern nearby. I’ve written it in both graph and written instruction formats. The pattern as I wrote it calls for size 9 needle and a single strand of worsted weight yarn, but it’s very easy to make a change to suit your needs. Just do an 8″ swatch first for the most accurate gauge.

My cats tend to “knead” on the throws I have on the sofa, or even scratch on them as if they’re scratching posts, but I’m hoping to keep this one away from playful paws to preserve its looks and wearability. The last one is so pilled, I don’t even know what to do with it.

Some people have asked if it’s possible to use multiple colors for the different “waves,” and while I suppose you could do that intarsia-style (the throw is placed sideways on the sofa from the direction it was knit), I think that might be difficult. You’d be changing colors between a purl stitch and a yarn-over on half of the rows, and that would be a challenge to keep looking neat.

I’ve seen the pattern knit in variegated yarn, however, and the pattern is perfect for that style!

I love this pattern, both knitting it and the finished result.

Knitting

Lovely Grey Shawl

Just finished this shawl, and I’m looking for a place to wear it. (Of course the weather has just gotten very warm here in my area, but I trust it will cool off again before spring truly arrives.) Great design, one that looks more complicated than it was to make.

Grey Lace Shawl

The pattern is from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2016, pattern #4 “Faux Cable Shawl.” I’m not sure I’d really call it a “faux cable,” more of a “medallion lace,” but no matter, the result of this lace pattern is desirable. As you might guess, you knit the same pattern repeat for the bulk of the piece. It’s a twelve-row pattern, one that increases by 12 stitches with each repeat. It knit up very quickly and was a pleasure to work on. I seemed to get through each pattern repeat so quickly, despite the increases!

I used five skeins of DK Merino Superwash by Plymouth in Light Gray (love the simple way they name their yarns!), which knit up to gauge with a size seven needle. The pattern called for a 48″ circular needle, and while I eventually outgrew my 24″, the 40″ I ended up with wasn’t necessary to comfortably accommodate all the stitches. I believe a 32″ would have been fine, and maybe a little easier to work with. But, to each his own.

The yarn I used isn’t as dressy as the yarn used in the pattern, but it knit up beautifully. I’m very pleased with my choice.

I wet-blocked the shawl, and initially it stretched out several inches wider than the finished size listed in the pattern. However, as it dried, due to the nature of the lace pattern, it regained some of the “bubbly” texture it had as I was knitting it, which pulled it back to the listed size.

The picot edge didn’t come out quite like the picture in the magazine, however, it did pull those points out and give it the intended swoopy-edge (you can’t really see that in the above picture, but the final result had the swoops).

I was going to put this on my sofa and use it as a convenient decorative piece I could wrap myself up in on cold evenings, but once I took a good look at the throw currently serving that purpose, I changed my mind. My cats somehow think knit pieces on the back of the sofa are akin to scratching posts, and that poor throw is so pilled from being clawed. I don’t want that to happen to this shawl!

Knitting

Green Lace Scarf

Another project for my local yarn store, and this one is quite feminine, very pretty. I can see it being used with something a little dressier or, if you prefer,  a fairly casual outfit. As an accent piece, it would be perfect with either.

green-lace-scarf-2\

The pattern is “Brickless” by Strickmich! and is available on Ravelry.com. While it was intended for a heavy worsted weight yarn, I made it here in a fingering weight, “Stunning Singles” by Apothefaery Fabrications. It’s a 70% merino wool/30% silk blend. There’s no color name listed on the label, although the number “33” is hand-written in very small print on one side, so I’m assuming that’s the color number. It’s handpainted, so there’s no dye lot, and I’m not sure if they repeat colors.

I used most of the 438 yards of one skein of this yarn, and I’d say it’s just about the right length to wrap around stylishly.

This was a fairly easy pattern to follow. Half of it, if not a little more, is either garter stitch or a 1 x 1 rib. The rest is the most basic of lace patterns, just yarn over, knit two together. You’re increasing one stitch on every row, then binding off half of what you’ve increased at the end of each section.

green-lace-scarf

Gauge is hardly important. Like many shawls or scarves of this type of design, you can stop when it gets to the right size for you. The key would be getting enough yarn to finish the project. With the yarn the pattern calls for (as I mentioned before, a heavy worsted weight), you’ll need 580 yards, but I believe it finishes up to be a shawl and not a scarf as I have here.

Knitting

Malabrigo Shawl — Complete!

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Here it is…the Greystone Harbor shawl I’ve been working on. I’ve posted most (well, all) of the relevant information already, so this is just show-and-tell.

If it weren’t for the fact I just moved, I’d dress up a little and model it. However, I’m lucky I can find a clean pair of socks right now, let alone the right outfit to show this off.

If you want to see what I’ve already written about it, go to Malabrigo Shawl.

Knitting

Malabrigo Shawl

I’d planned to wait until I finished this shawl to post about it, but I’m so excited about it I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s the same pattern I used for the lace shawl I completed last month, but the look with the Malabrigo Rios yarn is completely different.

Malabrigo shawl closeup2

The pattern is Greystone Harbor Shawl from the Spring/Summer 2016 Vogue Knitting. It’s not a beginner pattern, but not difficult. A fun challenge. There is a repeat of the same chart eleven times, so you get to know the pattern well by the time you’re done. Still, you do need to pay attention as you’re knitting. It’s beautifully designed; kudos to designer Rosemary (Romi) Hill.

The yarn is subtly shaded, but not variegated, which gives it depth but all the advantages of a solid color. It’s a merino superwash and wonderful to work with. I also think it shows off this pattern beautifully! While I was pleased with the finished result of my last Greystone Harbor shawl, I’m thrilled with how this is turning out.

I haven’t been a shawl person in the past, but this pattern has changed my mind. The completed project will be approximately the size the pattern calls for, about 63″ across the top.

One of the wonderful things about this pattern is the ability to shorten or lengthen simply by decreasing or increasing the number of repeats of the second chart. So if you’re petite, you may find you want it a little smaller. That same sort of change can be made to accommodate different weights of yarn, and it won’t negatively affect the look.

That top, by the way, is knit in, no extra finishing required. Yay!

Knitting

Lace Shawl — Completed!

So happy with the results! It seems like it took forever, but I guess that wasn’t really the case. Knitting shawls has one drawback: since you’re increasing the whole way, the piece is getting bigger, and it takes longer and longer to complete a row or section. But in this case, it was worth it.

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The finished product is smaller than the pattern dimensions because I used a lighter gauge yarn. However, it’s the perfect size for me. It’s about 52″ across the top.

I used Bamboo Pop yarn (50% cotton, 50% bamboo) and knitting with it was a pleasure. The gauge for the pattern was 24 stitches to 4″. I ended up using just over 2 1/2 skeins.

Knitting

Lace Shawl

shawl II
More rows of what is a sort of mock-cable will continue to the right of this piece.

Sadly, I’ve gotten little knitting done lately, and what I’ve started has more often than not ended up frogged. I finally landed on a project I think I’ll finish, this shawl from the latest issue of Vogue Knitting.

I don’t typically wear shawls, and these aren’t colors I normally would choose, so how did I get here? I originally picked out this yarn for a top, and deliberately chose colors different from what was already in my wardrobe. When I started to knit it up, the yarn was all wrong.

I’d seen this shawl pattern and really liked the lace pattern, so I thought I’d give it a try. You can’t see the lace pattern very clearly with the variegated yarn, so the final result may or may not work for me.

But I’m committed to it at this point. If I liked the yarn better, I might be seeking yet another pattern. But for now, I’m willing to take a chance with what I’ve started.

The pattern, by the way, is the Greystone Harbor Shawl from the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Vogue Knitting. I’ll be posting the final result once it’s finished!

 

Knitting

Wingspan Shawl

I was asked to make this Wingspan Shawl as a sample for my local yarn store, and the finished result is a success! The variegated yarn adds some depth, and for those who favor this type of apparel, I think this pattern delivers.

Wingspan Shawl variationKnitting it was a pleasure. Now this was a variation on the original pattern and you have to download that e-book as well as the free pattern for the variation to get the full instructions. Frankly, these are not the best written patterns in either case, and it takes some sitting down to figure out what’s going on. I understand there are some videos on YouTube as well. Good luck with that!

It’s a six-row repeat for the lace pattern, with the yarn-overs being done on the fifth row. It’s done with a double yarn-over (two in a row), which makes for the bigger hole. Not as difficult as it sounds. When you knit the next row, you knit the first yarn-over and purl the second.

You always start out the yarn-over row with a Slip one stitch purlwise, knit two (K2). I believe the instructions for the second section leave out that K2, but it should be in there.

This shawl was knit with self-striping sock yarn, which turned out pretty fun. I’ve seen it done in variegated yarns of all kinds as well.

There are short rows, but because of all the yarn-overs, I didn’t wrap and turn, I just let the holes show. Surprisingly they don’t show that much. Oh well! I would have liked them to, actually.

You can find the patterns on Ravelry. Look up Wingspan and Wingspan Variation.

Knitting

Lace Socks

My second pair of these socks — I wore the first pair right through!

Lace SocksIt took me a bit to get into the rhythm of this pattern, but once I did, they knit up quickly. I love lace knitting for socks. Something about it is so appealing to me, and they’re so pretty.

I’m not one for knitting two socks at once, bottom-up knitting or any of these alternatives to a turned heel (why?), give me the traditional top down, turned heel sock every time.

Okay, I’m sure there are good reasons for the alternative heels, but the traditional way works — the socks stay up and they look good. So I’m sticking with the tried-and-true. For now, anyway. The only reasons anyone has given me for doing it any differently is they can’t figure out how to turn the heel, and I say, just dive in and do it. Don’t try to figure it out beforehand because it doesn’t make sense if you’re not familiar with the technique. It just doesn’t.

If you’ve tried an alternative and found it works, I’d love to hear about it.

As for knitting two pair at once, I haven’t attempted it because it has no appeal to me. With one exception, I’ve never had the problem of knitting up one sock only to leave the other one undone. I’m pretty good at finishing up my projects (which is saying something for me since I’m a much better starter than finisher in many areas of my life).

This pattern comes from Around the World in Knitted Socks by Stephanie Van Der Linden, published by Interweave Press, 2008 (Germany) and 2010 (North America). It’s the Scent of Lavender pattern. I’ve knit several pairs of socks from this book and every one has been beautiful. The only pattern I had problems with was Feminine Lace. The sock was beautiful, but the pattern was a pain in the neck, and I only finished one sock (as mentioned earlier). In fact, this was the subject of an earlier post.

 

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